Private tour focusing on human trafficking set for May 17; registration now open

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Human trafficking occurs at truck stops, on street corners and in luxury hotels throughout the state, with Atlanta being the focus. Members of Georgia Woman’s Missionary Union, shown prayer walking a truck stop, have been leaders in redemptive ministry to women and children caught up in the form of modern-day slavery. Registration is now underway for an evening UnHoly Tour of Atlanta set for May 17.   JOE WESTBURY/Index

Atlanta is one of the nation’s top tourist locations and there are tours for every interest. Tours of historic downtown African American sites, Civil War battlefields of various sizes both inside and outside the Perimeter, and Segway tours of landmarks and architectural interest.

But there is one tour, being hosted for the second year by the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, that will never be promoted by the Chamber of Commerce.

Known as the UnHoly Tour, the two-hour bus experience will focus on human trafficking and Atlanta’s role as a top city for the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.

Although many women from around the world are being smuggled into the city due to its international airport, most of the cases in Georgia involve runaway teens or abandoned children.

VICTIM’S AVERAGE AGE IS 13.5 YEARS OLD

“The average age of entry here in Georgia is about 13-and-a-half years old and what’s really particularly disturbing about that, most of the time in law enforcement we come into contact with them when they are 16 or 17 years old,” a local law enforcement officer noted last year.

In a March interview with Atlanta television station WAGA, Special Agent Brian Johnston of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation noted that the same reasons Atlantans enjoy living and working in the area are the same reasons that attract both the demand and supply side of human trafficking.

Mike Griffin

Johnston said human trafficking is a very lucrative business. He noted that some criminals on their first or second convictions who know if they get caught again could face a long sentence, will swap over and begin exploiting children because they know they will make money and possibly never be caught.

The private tour, with limited seating, was founded by U.S. Public Commissioner Tim Echols as a way to build awareness for legislators and community leaders on the proximity of human trafficking and the reality of how and what it is happening.

Public Affairs Representative Mike Griffin said the Mission Board will host a free, private UnHoly Tour “to train pastors on the actuality of human trafficking in their communities along with the role the Church can play in prevention and healing.”

Griffin stated that Kasey McClure, founder of 4Sarah, will serve as guide, “revealing the devastating impact of the sex trade in our own community all from the safety of the charter bus.

“As we tour the ‘unholiest sections’ of Atlanta, you will hear from renowned Georgia experts and leaders of anti-trafficking organizations that have worked cases and ministered in these areas. We will also hear from victims who have been trafficked and found grace and healing through these organizations and their church.”

Space will be limited to only 25-35 guests since this year’s tour will be on a smaller bus. Seating will go fast, Griffin noted.

This year’s tour will take place On Thursday, May 17th and the charter bus will depart from the Baptist Missions and Ministry Center in Duluth at 7 p.m. and return at 9 p.m. Click here to register.

 

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